You know the sayings about the best laid plans of mice and men. Well, Dr. Muhammad Mutaza from Wales decided to allow his seven-year-old son to play a game on his iPhone for one hour. During that 60 minute period, the doctor’s son managed to run up an $1,800 bill for in-app purchases! According to Cult Of Mac
, Dr. Mutaza gave his son Ashaz permission to play Dragons: Rise of Berk
on his iPhone because it is a free game.
However, the doctor didn’t expect that his son would make nearly 30 in-app purchases priced as high as £99.99 ($137 USD) each. While Apple refunded $290 to Dr. Mutaza, he had to sell his Toyota to be able to pay off the balance of the bill.
Apple did send the doctor a notification after each purchase, but those notifications were sent to an email address that the doctor rarely uses. And as it turned out, seven-year old Ashaz knew the password of his dad’s account. At first, Dr. Mutaza thought that he had been ripped off but soon discovered that his son was responsible for the $1,800 that was spent.
Seven-year old spends $1,800 of his dad’s money on in-app purchases
As you might imagine, the Doctor is upset at Apple. An Apple customer since 2005, he told the tech giant, “Well done, you’ve ripped me off, congratulations you have succeeded in ripping my child off. You’ve tricked him.” He vowed not to spend another penny on the company again.
Apple suggests that any iPhone used by someone under 13 should have Ask to Buy enabled by default. This feature allows children to browse apps, but alerts their parents every time they want to purchase or download an app. But in this case, the child was using his dad’s phone which means that Ask to Buy was not enabled.
But there is a lesson to be learned here. If you allow your kid to use your iPhone, make sure that you lay down the law when it comes to the purchase of any in-app extras BEFORE he takes your phone.